Latest News

Scottish Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations now approved

26 February 2020

Ministers have approved The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 which will come into force on 1 April 2020 and will prescribe a minimum level of energy efficiency from 1 October 2020 for homes in the Scottish Private Rented Sector (PRS). Read More...

More tenants than ever seek housing as rental stock dwindles

25 February 2020

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) report shows that the demand for rental accommodation has reached a record high in January, with an average of 88 prospective tenants registered per member branch. Read More...

No change to Right to Rent despite new UK points-based system

21 February 2020

The UK Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, free movement will end, and they will introduce the UK’s Points-Based System but they are still no closer to confirming plans for the future of Right to Rent checks after Britain leaves the EU. Read More...

Custodial or Insured, which scheme comes out on top?

17 February 2020

Propertymark Industry Supplier, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) reveal the most popular type of tenancy deposit protection scheme. Read More...

The Property Ombusdman - positive partnerships and looking to the future

Tuesday 28 January 2020

The Property Ombudsman has always played a critical role in raising the profile of the organisation and its work, improving its performance, impact and influence, and ensuring that it has the culture, partnerships, and resources in place to be sustainable over the long term.

Following the announcement that she is to step down in November, Propertymark spoke to Katrine Sporle CBE about her time in the role and her plans for the future.

Is there something that you’ve been the proudest of during your time heading up TPO?

First of all my title – I am Ombudsman and Chief Executive, reflecting the fact that the unitary Board and the Executive have worked hard to achieve a modern, forward-looking organisation, that works hard to resolve thousands of consumer disputes a year.

Secondly, enquiries during my time as Ombudsman has risen at an unprecedented rate - from 16,265 to in excess of 30,000, which has demonstrated that the TPO team is resilient, robust and capable of meeting future challenges. My Deputy, Directors, and Adjudicators are experts in their fields, and I know that is what consumers and the sector want: people who know what they are talking about and who add value to the job in hand. 

And, thirdly, the commitment and loyalty of all TPO staff who often take harrowing calls from people who feel they have nowhere else to go. The consumer journey and experience is 100 per cent important to TPO and giving accurate, relevant advice and guidance at first contact stage to empower consumers and underpin local resolution with property agents is an important aspect of an Ombudsman service.

What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the property industry?

Opportunities first - TPO is 100 per cent in support of the recommendations in the report produced by the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group, expertly chaired by Lord Best. This is the time for all organisations in the sector to collaborate and work together to raise professional standards in the sector and improve consumer service.

The challenge is to maintain momentum, especially on up to date Codes of Practice and training. TPO has always worked positively with trade bodies, particularly Propertymark.

Is there any advice you’d give to agents starting their careers? 

The property sector is vibrant, important, multi-faceted, endlessly stimulating and always challenging. Be professional, be an expert in one area before moving on to another. And, above all, take care of your personal reputation.

What's next for you, what are your plans for the future?

It’s a long time until November, and there is still much work to be done, so I am putting off the moment because I know I will be sad to leave. I will miss the role, my colleagues and the many positive working partnerships.

PROPERTYMARK AND TPO TOGETHER

Propertymark works closely with TPO on legislative and technical issues to provide agents with the best possible information. This includes webinars, conference talks, and training. 

Webinar recording Training Consumer Protection